Spirituality in and for public school education: a philosophical inquiry into an educative approach to addressing the ecological crisis

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Dasch, Chris
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Public education has a crucial role to play in preparing students to navigate and address the current ecological crisis and the myriad of associated social injustices. Through a philosophical inquiry, this thesis attempts to explicate a better understanding of the potential role of spirituality in public education as a means to promoting the development of pedagogies and practices that would be more effective in developing the sustainable behaviors required to address the crisis and injustices. Informed by four different philosophical traditions, this thesis first looks to better define the concept of spirituality as containing three key elements: awe, interconnection and growth. Secondly, recent literature surrounding spirituality in education is discussed, highlighting themes and obstacles. Finally, two potential pedagogical practices are explored for their promise to effectively incorporate spiritual perspectives within public education and to facilitate the development of the desired sustainable behaviors.
Education, Spirituality, Philosophical inquiry, Sustainability, Ecological crisis, Social justice, Public school, Deep ecology, Eastern wisdom traditions, Cree spirituality, Post-secular education, Inquiry based learning, Mindfulness